We can�t tell you too much about this wine because its exact origins must be kept a secret. Yes, this is 007 meets the wine business.
What we do know is that 2005 Shelter Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley is blended from the top vineyards of one of the most famous winemakers in the region. Superstar vintners obviously don't want you to know where their extra juice goes, so it is sold with the promise that its identity will kept on the DL.
With quality this high, who cares about the exact identity?
Believe me, the wine itself offers up more than enough proof of its aristocratic pedigree: Shockingly rich fruit for a dry white wine, with a ripeness and opulence second to none. The only thing that's missing is the famous label. This is a wine to buy for immediate consumption.
Here's how Shelter comes to be:
Top winemakers always vinify more top quality wine than they bottle, preferring to tinker with their final blend and add more juice from some barrels than others.
The owners of the Shelter project, with their friendships and deep rooted relationships in Napa, find out about this incredible extra juice before it's disposed of (read: quaffed at Napa Valley parties) and purchase it to label at a fraction of the price. What you end up with is an excellent bottle of wine that's selling for well under its inherent value.
No pretension - just killer wine. It's everything you could possibly want from a New World Sauvignon Blanc: Pure ripe melon and pineapple fruit, incredible richness and a sumptuous texture. The efficiency of the Shelter project keeps costs low and passes on the savings to us and to you.
Today, this grape grows in just about every important wine region in the world. It's not particularly hard to cultivate - it grows wildly and fiercely wherever planted. This is appropriate for a grape whose name comes from the French sauvage, meaning wild.
"Wild" could also be a good descriptor for many of the wines this grape produces. In its home bases of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé in France's Loire Valley, Sauvignon Blanc can take on intense untamed herbal flavors like straw, hay, grass, smoke, tea - even, yes, cat pee. (Those of you with cats know what we're talking about!)
The white wines of Bordeaux blend Sauvignon Blanc with another grape, Sémillon, to produce rounder, more mellowed wine with less cutting acidity.
New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs highlight the grape's clean and cutting citrus notes, often showing off a super-fresh lime zest quality.
Californian Sauvignon Blancs develop richer fruits and more luscious textures than their "Kiwi" counterparts do. The good ones, however (like Shelter) retain some of the acidic zing and freshness, keeping the wine balanced and mouth-watering.